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Domtar shutdown a blow to Espanola and area workers: Hughes

'This is a sombre day for workers, their families, the Town of Espanola and surrounding communities,' MP says
Member of Parliament Carol Hughes

MP Carol Hughes (Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing) issued the following statement following the announcement that the Domtar Corp. will be idling operations at its Espanola facility: 

ESPANOLA – Carol Hughes, MP for Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing, was shocked and saddened to learn that the Domtar pulp and paper mill will be idling indefinitely and for a minimum of one year.  MP Hughes reached out to Domtar’s Regional Public Affairs Manager to see if any government assistance could help in averting the closure.

“This is a sombre day for workers, their families, the Town of Espanola and surrounding communities,” said Hughes. “Once you lay off workers, the chance of being able to rehire them becomes more challenging as those experienced professionals move on with their careers elsewhere.”

Domtar employed 450 people from Espanola and other local communities. Domtar workers produced approximately 280,000 air-dried metric tons of northern bleached softwood kraft pulp and 69,000 tons of specialty paper annually.

“There’s always hope for communities dealing with company closures,” said Hughes. “White River experienced this a few years ago when the lumber mill ceased operations. They were able to eventually bounce back, but it was an exceptionally difficult process to rebuild their work force.”

Hughes was advised that Domtar was appreciative of past investments they had received, but that no government assistance could help to address the current situation.

“I am disheartened by what these workers and their families will be going through, and I encourage them to reach out to my office should they require assistance with benefits they may need to access,” said Hughes.